history

Posted in Ancient World, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

A Guide to Aeschylus’s “Persians”

Ellen Lauren as Persian Queen Atossa against a backdrop of golden drapery
Play in progress: Ellen Lauren as Persian Queen Atossa against a backdrop of golden drapery. Photo: Sara Radamacher

A theater-goer’s guide to the western world’s oldest play. More»

Also tagged , , , , , , 3 Responses
Posted in Education, Getty Villa

What Did the Byzantine Empire Smell Like?

Bottles of aromatics at a recent Getty Villa workshop
Byzantium in a bottle (or two)

Visit medieval Constantinople through perfume you can make yourself. More»

Also tagged , , , 4 Responses
Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities

Beware the Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March / Julius Caesar
Consult a good soothsayer before heading out this weekend. Artwork: Portrait of Julius Caesar (detail) from the Forum of Trajan, Rome. National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Inv. 6038. Photo: S. Sosnovskiy, 2008

If the sacrificial liver looks bad, stay home…and other soothsaying wisdom from ancient Rome. More»

Also tagged , , , , 1 Response
Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

Has History Got Roman Emperor Tiberius All Wrong?

Tiberius at the Getty Villa

Outrageous criminal or misunderstood victim? A new exhibition finds the man behind the scandal. More»

Also tagged , , 1 Response
Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Research

The Monuments Men and the Race to Save Masterpieces, A Q&A with Robert Edsel

Robert Edsel
Robert Edsel

“What makes a man risk his life to save someone else’s life, much less a work of art?” More»

Also tagged , , , , , , Leave a comment
Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, Prints and Drawings, Voices

Getty Voices: Looking East, Looking West

Stephanie and I (seated, far right) with colleagues at the National Museum of Korea, Seoul, in November 2011. Back row, standing: left to right: Lee Jae-jeong, Moon Dong Soo, Min Kil-hong. Front row, seated, left to right: Lee Won Bok, Burglind Jungmann, Stephanie Schrader, Jessie Park
Stephanie and I (seated, far right) with colleagues at the National Museum of Korea, Seoul, in November 2011. Back row, standing: left to right: Lee Jae-jeong, Moon Dong Soo, Min Kil-hong. Front row, seated, left to right: Lee Won Bok, Burglind Jungmann, Stephanie Schrader, Jessie Park

“Looking East” established a platform for international dialogue around art, history, and cultural exchange. More»

Also tagged , , , , , , 1 Response
Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Apocalypse Then: Bulwer-Lytton’s “The Last Days of Pompeii”

Cover and illustration from Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii

Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24, A.D. 79, burying Pompeii and neighboring towns under tons of ash and volcanic debris. Rediscovered by accident some 1,650 years later, the Vesuvian ruins captured the imagination of artists and writers, who vied to… More»

Also tagged , , , , , , , , , 5 Responses
Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Getty Villa

How to Wear a Toga the Ancient Roman Way

Guy Wheatley modeling a toga in the galleries of the Getty Villa

In ancient Rome, togas were no laughing matter. They were the fashion must-have for all male citizens, but men hated them: they were heavy, made your left arm as useful as a T. Rex’s, and required a team of highly… More»

Also tagged , , , , , 15 Responses
Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

Harvard Historian Robert Darnton on Blogging, 18th-Century Style

Historian Robert Darnton. Copyright © 2010, Brian Smith, Boston

Opening this week at the Getty Center is Paris: Life & Luxury, which traces the refined activities that took place inside a luxurious Parisian town house of the mid-1700s. On the streets outside such a house, however, occurred one activity… More»

Also tagged , , , , , 3 Responses
Posted in Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute

What Do You Mean, “Sustainability and Cultural Heritage”?

Gold Rush-era building in Nevada City, California

When I talk about the importance of sustainability and cultural heritage, most people nod their heads—we’ve all heard the word “sustainable” in terms of the green revolution—but then a second later they usually ask, “Wait, what exactly do you mean?”… More»

Also tagged , , , , , 3 Responses
  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      All Hail Tiberius, Least Media-Savvy of the Roman Emperors

      Tiberius was proclaimed Roman emperor on September 17 in AD 14, exactly 2,000 years ago.

      He was also a bit wacko. “He was the least media-savvy emperor you could imagine,” says curator David Saunders, who has been in charge of this bronze portrait of Tiberius which leaves us on September 22. He point to this description found in the writings of Cassius Dio:

      Tiberius was a patrician of good education, but he had a most peculiar nature. He never let what he desired appear in his conversation, and what he said he wanted he usually did not desire at all. On the contrary, his words indicated the exact opposite of his real purpose; he denied all interest in what he longed for, and urged the claims of what he hated. He would exhibit anger over matters that were far from arousing his wrath, and make a show of affability where he was most vexed…In short, he thought it bad policy for the sovereign to reveal his thoughts; this was often the cause, he said, of great failures, whereas by the opposite course, far more and greater successes were attained.

      Moreover, David tells us, “Tiberius’s accession itself was a farrago: Tiberius sort-of feigning reluctance, the Senate bullying him, he being all, ‘Well, if-I-have-to,’ and in the end—according to Suetonius—saying he’ll do it as long as he can retire.”

      Suetonius is full of great, albeit spurious, anecdotes about poor old Tiberius, David reports. “When someone addressed him as ‘My Lord,’ it is said, Tiberius gave warning that no such insult should ever again be thrown at him.”

      Happy accession, My Lord!

      Portrait Head of Tiberius (“The Lansdowne Tiberius”), early 1st century A.D., Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      Statue of Tiberius (detail), Roman, A.D. 37, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro. Currently on view at the Getty Villa following conservation and study.

      09/17/14

  • Flickr